Food safety advertising campaign launched

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON – A partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Ad Council has developed Food Safe Families, a multimedia advertising campaign to educate consumers about proper food safety and food handling practices.

“The launch of the Ad Council campaign comes at a time of heightened attention to food safety issues, when American families are looking for clear and concise information on how to better protect themselves,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Ensuring the safety of food is a top priority for U.S.D.A., and we work with the meat and poultry industry each day on best practices to decrease potential risks. The Ad Council campaign has the potential to generate unprecedented national exposure to issues of food safety and food-borne illness prevention.”

Created by the advertising agency JWT New York, the advertising campaign aims to raise awareness about the risk of food-borne illness and to educate consumers. The campaign focuses on four safe food handling behaviors, including cleaning kitchen surfaces, utensils and hands with soap and water while preparing food; separating raw meats from other foods during preparation; cooking foods to the right temperature; and chilling raw and prepared foods promptly.

“Our food safety strategy is based on preventing food safety problems, and these efforts must begin where food is produced and continue where food is processed and marketed,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Consumers also play a role in preventing food safety problems by properly handling, preparing and storing food in the home. This campaign will help consumers understand their role in farm-to-table food safety.”

The campaign includes television, radio, print and Internet advertising in English and Spanish as well as a social media program. The social media applications include a new Facebook page and Twitter feed.
The Ad Council is distributing the new public service announcements to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide. The advertisements will air and run in advertising time and space donated by the media. Several media companies have committed to supporting the effort prior to its launch. For example, the Meredith Corporation Local Media Group and Parade magazine will be supporting the campaign in the upcoming months.

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